Work productivity management in knowledge-intensive service companies: considerations and challenges


The purpose of this research is to inquire about the different considerations and perspectives that arise regarding the concept of productivity in the knowledge work context, as well as the main challenges that emerge in knowledge workers’ productivity management. A group of managers and workers from organizations in the knowledge-intensive services sector was interviewed. We resorted to content analysis to process the information, taking borrowing elements extracted from the systematic literature review for coding purposes. The perspectives among the interviewees regarding the concept of productivity diverge, and these differences are connected to the type of company and the role of the interviewee: manager or worker. The challenges reported include time management, complexity, heterogeneity, intangibility and task multiplicity, as well as the challenge for managers to set guidelines to measure and monitor productivity without affecting worker welfare. It becomes necessary to approach the concept of productivity from a holistic perspective, and to implement alternative managerial practices that take into account the nature of the work done, worker satisfaction and the diverse perspectives of stakeholders.



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Author Biographies

, Universidad de Caldas

Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics, School of Exact and Natural Sciences, Universidad de Caldas Manizales, Colombia. Chemical Engineer, Doctor (c) in Engineering- Industry and Organizations, Universidad Nacional de Colombia Sede Manizales, Colombia.

, Universidad Nacional de Colombia Sede Manizales

Head Professor, Industrial Engineering Program, School of Engineering and Architecture, Universidad Nacional de Colombia Sede Manizales, Colombia. Industrial Engineer, Doctor in Engineering, Universidad Nacional de Colombia Sede Manizales, Colombia.

, Universidad de Caldas

Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, School of Legal and Social Sciences, Universidad de Caldas, Manizales, Colombia. Anthropologist, Master in Social Sciences, Universidad de Caldas, Colombia.


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How to Cite
Tapasco-Alzate, O., Giraldo-García, J., & Osorio-García, D. (2020). Work productivity management in knowledge-intensive service companies: considerations and challenges. Cuadernos De Administración, 36(66), 64-77.